Chch diocese buys former Copthorne Hotel site

Christchurch diocese has bought the site of the former Copthorne Hotel in the central city to use in the planned cathedral parish precinct project.

New site for Christchurch Cathedral (file pic).

The purchase of the 2154 square metre site at 776 Colombo Street was announced last month by Millennium and Copthorne Hotels NZ Ltd (MCK). 

According to a report on Stuff, the site was cleared after the 2011 earthquakes. 

A report on the Business Times website out of Singapore stated that the terms of the sale are confidential, and that final settlement will happen in late May, 2021. 

The article reported that MCK managing director B.K. Chiu thanked Bishop Paul Martin, SM, and his representatives for “the constructive way in which negotiations were handled over the last few weeks”. 

Bishop Martin told Stuff that the sale agreement means “that the diocese’s vision for the precinct on which the land is situated will now be able to be fully met”. 

The cathedral parish precinct had an estimated cost of $126 million, as of December last year. 

The precinct will be built adjacent to Victoria Square, on the site bordered by Armagh Street, Colombo Street, Cambridge Terrace and Manchester Street.  

It will include the new cathedral, which will be able to accommodate 1000 people, a new St Mary’s primary school, as well as offices for the diocese, residential accommodation for priests and the bishop, and a multi-storey car parking building.  

The cathedral’s project cost is estimated at $85 million, the school at $11 million and the bishop’s and priests’ residence, as well as the car park building, at $30 million. 

In December last year, the diocese stated that the precinct is expected to be completed by 2025. 

The diocesan construction project is part of the $500 million “North of the Square” project, a joint venture between Christchurch diocese, property developer Carter Group and Crown rebuild company Ōtākaro. 

According to media reports, the diocese has already bought most of the land for the precinct project. 

The old Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, on Barbadoes Street, is to be demolished.  


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